Online music streaming service Grooveshark has shut shop after admitting to not getting licenses from right holders to stream music on its platform, reports VentureBeat. This shut down is a part of a settlement between Grooveshark and record companies Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment and Grooveshark does not expect to be resurrected.
Grooveshark posted a message on the website stating that although it intended to provide music discovery and sharing, it failed to secure licenses from rights holders on the “vast amount of music” it had on the platform. It went on to apologise and add that as a part of a settlement agreement with record companies, it will cease operations, wipe all of the copyrighted works off and hand over the ownership of its website, mobile apps and IP including its patents and copyrights to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
It then went on to list competitors like Spotify, Deezer, Google Play, Beats Music, Rhapsody and Rdio “among others” for its users to choose from and stated that “if you love music and respect the artists, songwriters and everyone else who makes great music, use a licensed service that compensates artists and other rights holders.”
Grooveshark was founded in March 2006 by Sam Tarantino, Josh Greenberg and Andrés Barreto and claimed to have over 35 million monthly active users. It was owned and operated by Escape Media Group in the US. Although this would be its last brush with authorities in the legal world, Grooveshark was sued by record labels including Warner Bros, Sony, and Universal in 2011 when the latter won.
Ars Technica reported that CTO Joshua Greenberg had also reportedly sent out an email to all Grooveshark employees to upload music to the service. The instruction was clear: “Download as many MP3’s (sic) as possible, and add them to the folders you’re sharing on Grooveshark…I expect everyone to have this done by Monday… IF I DON’T HAVE AN EMAIL FROM YOU IN MY INBOX BY MONDAY, YOU’RE ON MY OFFICIAL SHIT LIST.”
RIAA’s official statement said that the settlement would be the end to a “major source of infringing activity”. It also added that Groovershark’s founders Greenberg and Tarantino had admitted to operating an infringing music service and that Escape Media would incur “significant financial penalties” if the terms of the settlement were not followed.
Image Credit: Flickr user Michael Vroegop